The president rose to power on the strength of his own belligerence, in a sense, but he has been supported by the establishment of the Republican Party along the way. Although some prominent members of the GOP initially kept their distance from Trump, most of those Republicans — such as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — eventually got on board the “Trump Train.”
One of those who made the switch from Trump opponent to Trump shill is South Carolina’s GOP Senator Lindsey Graham — and now, an “expert in authoritarian states” has a troubling suggestion for why Graham may have made that switch.
Graham’s switch has been well documented. He himself started a presidential campaign during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, but that campaign never got off the ground.
In just one of many instances of Graham’s past hatred of Trump, he straight up called him a “jackass” in a sit down with a CNN reporter in 2015. At the time, he added that he thought Trump “shouldn’t be commander-in-chief.”
Now, however, Graham has switched sides. In one widely shared example of this, during a recent appearance on television, Graham bemoaned the fact that the media seems out to paint Trump as a “kook” — even though Graham himself called Trump a kook in a television appearance before Trump won the presidency.
Recently, Graham played golf with the president, posting about it on Twitter after the fact and earning the scorn of many who pointed out his past opposition to the president.
Sarah Kendzior says that the abrupt change in Graham’s attitude may be because the president is blackmailing him.
Kendzior commented to that effect during an appearance on a program on MSNBC hosted by Joy Reid, during which she also discussed how other prominent Republicans besides Graham have also suckered up to the president big time.
Reid asked Kendzior what she thought of the fact that Utah’s U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch — the longest serving Republican in the Senate — has been among those to recently heap a stomach churning amount of praise on the president.
‘I think it’s in line with what the GOP is doing in general in regard to Donald Trump, which is they start out with a moral condemnation or an evaluation of his… ability as a leader… and then, as time goes on, they join the fray.’
She went on to address the case of Graham’s drastic change of heart.
Reid asked her about possible “not so innocent explanations” for the shift, and although she noted that we should not “rule out” what she and Reid called “careerism,” she went on to say:
‘We do know that the RNC was hacked. We don’t know what happened with those e-mails. We know that Lindsey Graham’s personal e-mails were also hacked and we know that Trump has a long track record of blackmailing and threatening who he sees as his political opponents… I think it’s possible that some of these GOP players, while they might be greedy and opportunistic, are also being blackmailed or threatened.’
As for what kind of dirt someone “on the inside” might have on Graham, Kendzior went on to note that “certain individuals may not want to be investigated” for accepting donations that emanated from “shady” Russian interests and that one of those individuals is Graham.
She finished by saying:
‘I think what concerns me most is that they seem afraid. They seem unable to stand up for themselves. They lack all dignity. Trump has berated them, he has insulted them. He’s often gone after their wives and their family members, saying terrible things and yet they prostrate themselves to him.’
Check out her comments below.
Kendzior posted a thread to Twitter with the same concerns applied to the situation of Trump’s Cabinet members heaping passionate praise on him at what seems like every opportunity.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video.